Volunteer internships provide qualified college students and adults with professional skills in various areas of museum operations and education. While we are not able to offer a stipend, we feel that our internships offer a unique experience and the opportunity to develop new skills. Those interested in receiving credits for an internship should investigate this with their institution. High school students fulfilling an "internship" requirement for their schools should consider job opportunities listed in volunteering.
For most internships, a commitment of 16 to 20 hours per week is expected. Generally time would be scheduled on weekdays between the hours of 9 and 5, but some weekend scheduling is also possible. We will try to be flexible in working out a schedule.
For a more detailed job description and application information for any of the internships listed below contact: Lois Kuter, Volunteer Manager, at email@example.com or 215-299-1029.
For undergraduate and graduate research internships, go to Research Internships.
Current Internship Opportunities
Museum Galleries Education Volunteer
Interns serve as informal interpreters in the public spaces of the museum to educate guests of all ages about exhibits and natural science topics using hands-on activities.
Interns also help to develop programming, lesson plans, and activities for museum guests and school groups, as well as assist supervisors with volunteer trainings and educational material maintenance.
Interns may take on the following interpretive assignments, throughout the museum:
- Special Exhibits Gallery Guide for upcoming exhibits traveling here: Chocolate (Fall 2014), Titanaboa (Winter/Spring 2015), Animal Grossology (Spring/Summer 2015)
- Cart of Curiosity Interpreter
- Invertebrate Cart Live Specimen Interpreter (optional, requiring extra training)
- Live Animal Floor Presenter (optional for qualified volunteers 18 and older)
Interns will also complete a project that may be turned into a floor program for museum visitors.
Public Relations/Press Relations Assistant
This internship offers the opportunity for a self-motivated, eager student to develop communications skills while working in a busy communications office at a one of Philadelphia’s top cultural attractions. The Public Relations/Press Relations assistant helps the Senior Communications Manager promote the exhibits, programs and key initiatives to the media, niche audiences, and the general public. The assistant will benefit from experience with a variety of projects, many on deadline, and from working with the Institutional Advancement team.
Responsibilities include researching and writing press releases, web research, compiling a bimonthly communications report and daily media report, compiling calendar listings and posting online to various PR outlets, assisting with a media database, taking pictures and selecting images for press use, and more.
The ideal candidate should have strong writing and verbal skills; be a junior or senior studying journalism, public relations, or related communications field; have experience writing for their college newspaper or other journalism-type writing; be detail-oriented, able to work independently and on deadline. Interest in museums a plus. This is an unpaid, part-time (about 20 hours per week) position.
Communications and Publications Intern
The Academy’s Communications Department offers a student the opportunity to gain science writing and editing experience in a nonprofit museum setting. The student will assist the communications team by writing for the Academy’s member magazine, assisting with public program promotion, and shaping the public perception of the Academy through crafting copy for the website and printed materials. The position offers the student the opportunity to write for a variety of audiences, learn about publications management, develop skills essential for a career in nonprofit communications, and have his or her writing published in a nonprofit magazine and online.
Ideal candidates will have strong writing and editing skills, excellent organizational and problem-solving skills, and the ability to work independently and as a team player. Interest in natural history or working in a museum setting is a plus. We encourage applications from students majoring in communications, marketing, English, and the humanities and social sciences.
Education Intern in Dinosaur Hall
Dinosaur Education Interns master informal teaching focused in Dinosaur Hall and can be trained to teach more formal classes for children in grades K-8 on topics such as dinosaurs, evolution, taxonomy, and geology. Working in Dinosaur Hall, interns use a variety of hands-on activities to engage visitors and students in the processes of paleontology. In The Big Dig, interns educate children about the processes of excavation and fieldwork using real fossils and cast material. On the main exhibit floor, interns serve as informal educators, using the dinosaur mounts and touchable fossils to explain issues in paleontology and natural sciences. In the Fossil Preparation Lab, interns learn techniques of vertebrate fossil preparation and explain general methods, processes, and principals of paleontology to museum visitors. While focused on the topics visitors explore in Dinosaur Hall, this internship will also introduce interns to the work of the Education Department as a whole.
Education Intern for Explorers Camp
Academy Explorers Camp programs provide a fun and educational experience for campers at the museum during spring break and during the summer. Children age 6 to 12 participate in week-long, hands-on, themed programs that reflect the research of the Academy's own scientists. Campers conduct experiments with scientists, sketch with Academy artists, explore the museum's research labs and animals and plant collections, meet a variety of interesting live animals, and take science on the road with weekly trips. Themes explored include water, animals, fossils, nature, and insects.
Camp program interns assist at all levels in the planning and implementation of our spring and summer camp programs. This internship is an excellent opportunity to gain skills in the development and implementation of inquiry-based, informal science programming for children. Interns should be working toward a degree in science, education, or a related field with a GPA of at least 2.5.
Candidates should have some past experience working with the general public and experience with formal or informal teaching of children.
Spring Break Camp dates change, but interns generally need to be available to work from February through April. Summer Camp Interns can assist with planning beginning in April and must be available to work with the camp from mid-July through late August.
Education Intern in Outside In
Outside In is a hands-on children's discovery center featuring hundreds of natural artifacts as well as live animals. Interns work side by side with volunteers and a staff manager to help children explore dozens of natural objects and learn through hands-on activities. Interns learn to guide visitor interactions with a variety of live animals (snakes, rabbits, turtles, guinea pigs, and insects). Interns master informal science education and hands-on educational techniques. They are also introduced to the work of the Education Department and the range of programs it offers.
Ideal candidates should have a love for all types of animals (and insects) a sincere interest in the natural sciences, science education, and/or museum teaching.
Education Intern for Public Programs
Public programming interns work with the Public Programs Manager to develop and implement natural science activities for museum visitors who attend special weekends and holiday programs throughout the year. Interns create and develop public-friendly science activities and help prepare lesson plans and background information used to train staff. Working with the Public Programs Manager, interns also assist in basic preparation for programs by gathering supplies, setting up activity stations, and training other staff on the activities. Interns enjoy the fruits of their planning and preparation work by assisting with special events such as Paleopalooza, Earth Day, Bug Fest, and more.
Candidates should have an interest in the natural sciences and science education and enjoy working with people of all ages. Weekend availability is important.
Education Intern for School Programs
School program interns train to teach all non-animal lessons that the Academy offers to visiting school groups. Ideally, interns would be working toward a degree in science, education, or a related field. Past experience working with the general public, formal or informal teaching experience, and curriculum-development experience preferred.
Lessons include classes on dinosaurs, invertebrates, watersheds, and classification of organisms. Lessons are hands-on and inquiry-based science programs.
In addition, interns work with the Education Manager to develop and implement pre- and post-visit materials for school groups visiting the museum. The activities are designed to enhance school groups' visits and engage the students as they visit the Academy's exhibit halls.
Institutional Advancement Intern
The Institutional Advancement Office is currently seeking an intern or interns to assist with a department-wide donor prospecting project. The intern or interns will also support our development, membership, and marketing efforts.
Responsibilities include researching potential individual prospects, inputting donor-related information and helping to maintain the Academy’s Raiser’s Edge donor/member database, aiding in the implementation of a large data modeling project and helping to interpret results, assisting in donor-cultivation activities, including the preparation of mailing lists and helping at evening events, and other projects as required.
Interns must be available in a block of at least 4 hours, preferably 2-4 days per week, on a flexible yet consistent schedule. They should be enrolled in a liberal arts program or a recent graduate, with the ability to work independently and efficiently, keeping prospect and donor information confidential. Ideal candidates will have excellent word processing and oral and written communication skills.
Live Animal Center Intern
The Live Animal Center (LAC) maintains a collection of approximately 100 live animals used as a vital part of the education program at the Academy of Natural Sciences museum. These animals, which are mainly non-releasable wildlife or exotic pets, including raptors, parrots, skunks, rabbits, turtles, snakes, lizards, and more, are used in programs for schools and museum visitors dealing with natural history and environmental education. Interns assist the full-time keepers in the care and handling of the collection, developing an individualized training plan and independent project. Interns are trained on the job by skilled LAC staff and work with a training manual to move through increasingly complex levels of skills in handling, husbandry, and natural history knowledge.
Ideal candidates are students enrolled in biology, zoology, pre-vet, wildlife science, environmental education, or a related college program. College graduates in the above fields looking for more experience are also welcome.
The Academy is seeking a college junior or senior majoring in marketing, communications, or a related field (or a recent graduate) for a part-time internship opportunity. The applicant should have well-developed verbal and written communication skills and the ability to work independently. An interest in the natural sciences is a plus, since this internship offers the opportunity to learn about the scope of scientific research and educational work at the Academy.
As a marketing intern, you have an exceptional opportunity to learn all aspects of work in a nonprofit museum. Interns have an integral role in assisting us to promote the wealth of public programs of the museum and to make better known the depth of research happening behind the scenes at the Academy.
Under the supervision of the Marketing Manager, duties may include: writing and proofreading advertising copy, writing for online and social media, creating and distributing marketing collateral, Internet research, and some basic administrative work
Volunteer Office Intern
Interns for the Academy's Volunteer Program assist in all aspects of volunteer management. Interns assist with job descriptions, recruitment, training and orientation, database management, communication and enrichment programs, evaluation tools, and research of volunteer trends and new directions in volunteer engagement. The intern would work under the direction of the Academy's Volunteer Coordinator to learn the nuts and bolts of developing and sustaining a volunteer program, skills transferable to any type of institution in which volunteers are engaged.